289 Runs Hot - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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289 Runs Hot

I had a 289 Professionaly built about 15 years ago that has always run hot. I first noticed a problem when I started it
for the first time to break the cam in. The passenger side
head and header got so hot that it burnt the paint off of that
side in a couple minutes. The water temp was fine at that time. After driving it for about 30 minutes on the highway, the temperature would get to 210 to 220. It would continue to rise slowly the longer I drove it. Even driving it on the highway didn't lower the temperature. I gave up on it after a year of working to find the problem. I have replaced everything but the block. I had the heads off twice to check
if the head gasket was installed correctly. The block is a 289 bored 30 over, with 9.1 compression. Here is a list of things I have tried after getting it on the road.

new 4 row radiator
new high flow water pump
160 degree thermostat, also ran without one for a while
new carburetor and intake
different heads
new cam and lifters
new headers and exhaust

The problem still continues with the passenger side head getting very hot. In the first minute, I can't touch that side valve cover. The drivers side valve cover is cold.

Anyone have any ideas before I ditch the block and order
me a 347 stroker? I spent 3k back 15 years ago and since only put 500 miles on it.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 07:33 PM
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289 Runs Hot

Only thing I can think of is that the head gasket on pass. side was installed backwards and is covering up the water passages. I am sure you will get some good advice here!

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 07:40 PM
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289 Runs Hot

First make sure your temp gauge is accurate.

Some tricks for lowering the temp-if you dont have them already

Get a engine oil cooler

Get a fan shroud and a clutch fan

Aluminum radiator

Also make sure youre running a good tune.

Im running a 400+ hp 351 with a 180* stat, high volume pump and a summit aluminum rad with a unshrouded flex fan. It runs way to cold for my taste. It never goes over 185.

Also, if you only have 500 miles on it, its barely broken in.

[ This Message was edited by: ChicoB on 1/14/05 7:42am ]

[ This Message was edited by: ChicoB on 1/14/05 7:45am ]
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 08:10 PM
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289 Runs Hot

Just a couple shots in the dark here... I know the timing covers for the 289 and various 302s are different... maybe something about the water passages are different? And with that said, is the water pump for a 289 different than a 302 (other than of course the radiator hose goes on the opposite side)? My 289 in my pickup got pretty hot during the initial cam breakin, but after that it's always been perfectly fine. Is the engine lower than the radiator like it's supposed to be? Have you done a compression check? Maybe something weird like a piston that is too tight in the bore, I dunno. I feel for ya man, I hate those problems that just refuse to go away regardless of the logic and money you throw at it, lol.

'97 F250HD 4x4 460; '85 Ranger, 350hp 289, T5, 12.9@110.5
"If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” Albert Einstein
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 08:47 PM
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289 Runs Hot

A friend had the same problem as you describe.
He did not trust the original engine so he had it rebuilt .020 over by a reputable local engine shop.The engine started to over heat, smoke and burn oil after about 100 miles.
The engine was bored again .030 over and rebuilt again at no cost to the friend. Again it started to over heat and burn oil. The block was scrapped and the shop rebuilt a later model 302 block again at no cost. Since then he has had no over heating and oil burn problems.
IMO the problem was that the original 64 1/2 block, one of the first produced had a core shift problem when it was cast. This defect was common in the earlier Mustangs, and when they were bored .030 or more over, the cylinder wall ended up with an uneven thickness and too thin on one side causing over heating.
The only way to have this confirmed would be to saw the old block in half, or less destructive, have it sonic tested for cylinder wall thickness and consistancy.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 09:26 PM
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289 Runs Hot

One problem that was discovered is the lack of small 1/4" water holes in the block and heads on the lifter side of the block/head. You'll see them in the gaskets and these small holes allow for air to bleed out and steam pockets are elimanted. Older 289/302 blocks & heads don't have these holes. Just have to drill them yourself. Found this little trick in the HiPo SBF block.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 03:29 PM
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289 Runs Hot

I had a 351C do this.

Turned out that after sitting unused for several years with just regular water in the radiator some strange crusty formations built up.

After the car got back on the road, a big hunk of this crap broke off. I mean big, like 1" by 3", and had the consistency of household caulk.

This piece would jam up the water passages on the passenger side when the engine was running, and cause all kinds of problems.

I replaced the radiator, fan, and water pump to no avail.

After removing the engine, we tore it down and found this arge hunk I described and several others waiting to break loose.

Cleaned all that crud out, and the engine runs at 160 degrees all day long now in my brother's car, using my old radiator and water pump!


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 07:24 PM
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289 Runs Hot

Check you timing, but it sounds like one head gasket is on wrong. The head gaskets have a small square tab that is in the lower corner in the front of both heads around the head bolt hole. The tab will protrube from the head & block at the front lower corners near the exhaust manifolds. If you do not see it look at the back of the heads to find it. If either one is not visible in the front head the gasket is on backwards. ............ Good Luck.................

1965 K-Code Mustang Fastback

[ This Message was edited by: FrankBullitt on 1/15/05 7:24am ]
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 10:00 PM
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289 Runs Hot

Its not all that uncommon for junk to bust loose when the machine shop goes to work or stuff can break loose a bit later on when you finally get the motor running especially if the motor sat for a while. It will move around until it finds some place to clog up. You'll have to bust out all the freeze plugs and see if you can flush anything out to check for that.

The only other things I might add to what has been said is that your carb may be running too lean on that side or you could have a vacuum leak on that side.

You could have an intake to carb surface problem. If you're running a dual plane intake it might be warped just enought to be letting air in on that one side. You can check your carb base and intake for true with a straight edge and a feeler gauge or spray wd around the carb base and watch your rpms.

Assuming the block and heads were cleaned up(shaved a few thousandths) one head or block surface might have been shaved a little more than the other. This would make the intake sit just a little off on one side and can give rise to a small vacuum leak because the intake gasket doesn't sit perfectly flat all the way around the ports.

At any rate good luck with it.

1965 289 mustang fastback
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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289 Runs Hot

Thanks guys. I will do a compression test and double check everything.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2010, 05:53 AM
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Re: 289 Runs Hot

I have a 289 that builds high pressure in the water system, so I removed the heads and sent them to the shop. I reinstalled the heads and the high pressure is sill in the water system. any ideas?
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2010, 04:20 PM
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Re: 289 Runs Hot

seen some shop knock in soft plugs and leave them in , blocks water flow and overheating is the result
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